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Poster: orchiddoctor Date: Oct 7, 2006 5:52am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Untrained Ear For Audiophiles

I have a good friend who has been tweaking his audio system for over thirty years. When turntables were still widely available--before the digital age--he would not only upgrade the table, but he would upgrade the cartridge as well. He often bough Japanese pressing for their superior quality. Thousands of dollars. Amazing speakers--the whole thing. But when I would get hi and sit and listen, I couldn't tell the difference after a point--except that his new speakers might be bassier or more favorable to high pitched sounds. After a point: of course his system sounded vastly superior to mine.

But as years pass and I have listened to countless hours of LOUD music, my ears cannot tell if something has been compressed or not.

So here is the eternal question: why is it so necessary to stay away from lossy when folks listen to audience tapes or hissy soundboards? The only real reason I can see for this issue is that so many folks have taken the best quality copy they can find of a show (often upgrading the base copy) and spent hours tweaking them--correcting for speed, flaws, splices, and patching in missing parts. To them, this is a work of love, and they don't want that effort diminished by downgrading the sound, even on paper.

While the bulk of the credit must be given to the band (obviously) and the original taper (be it Owsley, Betty or Marty Weinberg), the person who has cleaned up the tape and uploaded it deserves our respect. So, when he asks you not to copy in MP3, his wishes should be respected. Though what you do for your personal use is your business.

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Poster: Earl B. Powell Date: Oct 7, 2006 7:08am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Untrained Ear For Audiophiles

Absolutely! The techies that have made it their lifes ambition to provide us with this listening experience are our men in the trenches. They deserve all the the thanks and props we can muster...Charlie Miller comes to mind. This falls under the category of not trading in lossy formats in all due respect to their wishes.

Here's the bottom line in the Mr. Earl household for threshold listening quality: On the Harley, 40kbs DL's from sources like Sugarmegs is OK because all the road noise and rather poor quality of the stereo system. (I only use Sugarmegs for rare content not found elsewhere.)

In the Bose equipped Cad, I'm currently playing a lot of 158KB stuff from Zephyr Zone, this also sounds fine on the home stereo, and doesn't seem to have a ton of frequency loss or compression, to my ear.

I have two home units, both with a Phillips source CD player/burner. One uses the vintage, first year of issue (1981?) Aiwa 50 watt RMS mini preamp and mated power amp combo into a pair of refreshed Altec Lansing Santana II speakers. The other unit uses the Phillips source through a Behringer 16 channel mixer into a pair of M-Audio BX-8 powered studio monitors. Either one of the home units IMO gives fairy accurate sound reproduction.

I suppose one point I'm trying to make is that extremely chopped MP3 quality, let's say for the sake of arguement less than 96kbs doesn't do justice to these recordings. However, it appears that from my experience that 158kbs and up seems to be an acceptable level of quality for reproducing "live" concert recordings. Nevertheless, by definition ALL MP3 formatted stuff is "lossy."

In fairness to all, I think I'll undertake a layman's approach to this and try to assemble at least one show in as many formats as possible, including FLAC and SHN to do a in-the-house survey. Results later.



This post was modified by Earl B. Powell on 2006-10-07 14:08:15

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Poster: cousinkix1953 Date: Oct 7, 2006 2:04pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Untrained Ear For Audiophiles

I went looking for this Zephyr Zone and found nothing but a bunch of crap about a Japanese motorcycle, bed mattresses and a minor league baseball team in New Orleans. Three search engines provided all kinds of garbage, which have NOTHING to do with this topic...

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Poster: orchiddoctor Date: Oct 7, 2006 12:23pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Untrained Ear For Audiophiles

However, I would add, if I may, that I see no serious ethical issue with changing the files to mp3 for use on Ipods. Personal use is different from passing them along.